Postcard from LAX

31 Dec

I’m en route to Australia, via a 24 hour forced stay in LA. United Air bungled the flight connection so I’m in an unbelievably shabby motel (Motel 6, don’t go there people!) in a small wasteland of freeway overpasses, roaming cars, shuttle buses, Golden Arches and many much nicer hotels. There is no coffee, tea or food in this hotel, can you imagine? It looks like the kind of place prostitutes bring their clients, and I felt a little out of place in the check-in line at 1 in the morning amongst some of the more amorous clientele.  I think I’m the only person here with a full set of teeth.

Wandering up the freeway in search of sustenance this morning, I felt adrift in a Raymond Chandler short story. Yet my skin and spirit love the softer air, the light–the West Coast is just that many hours closer to Australia than North-eastern USA. One day I’ll live in San Francisco, when the money angel magically comes up with the rent and a job there.

It’s a strange thing though–kvetch as I do, I’m also furtively grateful for this grey-zone, this dead time I can just lie on the bed and read women’s magazines in. I’m always exhausted when I travel, mostly because work has to be squeezed in before getting on a plane and when you get back (back & front-loaded). So this nothing day is kind of good. The irony of getting a bit more success as a writer & a “real job”, even teaching playwriting (which I love) is that the drifting peripatetic life that’s so great for associative thought and dreaming and —um—writing–gets re-paved instead with insurance, 401K packets, schedules, student conferences, people to see and impress, artist statements and self-packaging and the ubiquitous “networking” (which seems barely a step up from teenage gossip-group formation at times). Busy important things for busy important people.

I can see why many writers become facile and kind of awful once they’re famous. Luckily (or unluckily!) that particular problem is a fair way off for me still.


One Response to “Postcard from LAX”

  1. Rick Massimo January 25, 2008 at 8:03 pm #

    We’ll see!

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